The NFL and Tottenham Hotspur, London's new English Premier League stadium, have agreed on a 10-year deal that will bring professional American football to the United Kingdom twice a year when the state-of-art soccer facility open in 2018.
The NFL will have its own artificial playing surface underneath the retractable grass field used for the English Premier League, according to football officials, who said the two surfaces will "add greater flexibility in the scheduling of games."
"We have an opportunity now to deliver one of the most unique sporting and entertainment venues in the world, bringing together the EPL and NFL for the first time," Daniel Levy, chairman of Tottenham Hotspur, told NFL.com.
"The socio-economic benefits this will bring to the area will be immense and demonstrates our commitment to the regeneration of this priority borough in London."
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell told NFL.com that the league was excited for a chance to play in a state-of-the-art facility like Tottenham Hotspur at its inception.
"With growing enthusiasm for the NFL in the United Kingdom, we are committed to hosting NFL games in world-class venues and are excited to partner with Tottenham Hotspur to play games at their future stadium," Goodell said. "We share a vision and commitment to creating the best experience for our teams, fans and the local community."
BBC Sports wrote that the deal and accommodations
, including a dedicated playing field and locker rooms for NFL players, hint to possibility that the league is leaning even more toward the possibility of placing a franchise in London.
"I'm not sure this deal brings a London franchise closer in itself, but the more games we play the more fans we create and that's what takes the discussion over a franchise on another step," David Tossell, director of NFL public affairs in Europe, told BBC Sports.
Eleven NFL games have been played at Wembley with three more slated for 2015 with crowds of more than 80,000, reported The Guardian
. London Mayor Boris Johnson told the publication that he is thrilled about the new deal.
"The wise heads that run the NFL have clearly not missed the fact that Londoners are going absolutely gangbusters for gridiron," Johnson said. "We are already working very closely with the NFL, including on plans to get more Londoners involved in the sport."
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